Internet Portal Paving Way For Interactive TV
PowerServe have created a revolutionary portal for the Seven Network to be known as I7

THE Seven Network yesterday unveiled the major thrust of its strategy for expanding the company after the Olympics - its i7 Internet portal.

Launched on Sunday night with in a blaze of prime-time TV advertising, is an e-commerce hub providing Seven-branded links to 30 websites.

The network has equity in a number of these, such as the ticketing facility Ticketmaster 7 and entertainment site Digital One.

Seven chairman Kerry Stokes said yesterday i7 would become the engine room for the future growth of the network.

"With i7, Seven has put in place the platforms for its future development in a changing communications landscape," he said.

The chief executive officer of i7, Steve Wise, said the portal was going through a "muscle-building process" paving the way for interactive TV in the near future.

"What we're doing is developing the Internet to its next logical extension," he said.

A taste of the interactive medium around the corner would take place during the Olympics, with broadcast alerts directing i7 users to events being aired on the Seven Network.

And Wise said regular Seven shows would see increasing cross-fertilisation between broadcast content and Net sites.

"With a show like Great Outdoors, you can watch the video broadcast, then pick up the extension of a particular story on the Net," he said.

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